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A 'Next actions' question -GTD newbie question

Hi all ,
After reading most of the "getting things done " book , there is one thing that I don't really understand as far as Next actions are concerned.

Let's say that I have a project which is to mail some books to a friend of mine .So first I need to get her adress :this contains of an action of emailing her ,then waiting for her reply.
Then there's the action of packing the books [@home ] and then there's an "errands" type of action of going to the post office and mailing it.

What I can't figure out ,is whether I should have all those listed as next actions in their separate contexts ,for the same project ,at the same time -ort should I enter the first action,then complete it ,and only then add the next action to it's context? I mean ,in most cases there are numerous and dependent actions in a project ,which belong to different contexts,right?

I'm using the "nextaction" tracking tool for managing my next actions,and there's no way of defining dependency there -but the mail question is ,how is this supposed to work,the real-GTD way?

Thanks :)

mcnicks's picture

Hold on there, I thought...

Claire wrote:
Hold on there, I thought it was exactly the point of GTD that these items shouldn't be on your NA list until they are the very next action you can take? That's the principle I stick to. So in my system, "drop off books at PO" would be on a waiting for list, or on the project list

I agree with this. If you put potential next actions onto your next action lists, you just end up with lots of old-style todo lists. I would not even write down a subsequent action on my "waiting for" list. For the most part, I would trust that, as I score off "get X's address," I would intuitively know, "ohh that means I can now send those books". If I thought there was a chance that I would not put two and two together like that, I would note the "drop off books at PO" as a possible action against the project.

It may be better to turn that around: I try to only create projects when I think that the sequence of next actions will not be glaringly obvious to me, or if I think that the overall goal will require a bit of thought at review time each week.





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